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CEO of Total says critics of firm's operations in Burma "can go to hell"

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Article
4 August 2009

Total Chief: Critics Can ‘Go to Hell’

Author: Irrawaddy

The CEO of…Total said critics of the company’s operations in Burma “can go to hell,” according to an interview published by Newsweek...Total has been involved in the Yadana project since the 1990s, working in partnership with…Unocal [now part of Chevron]…Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise and…PTT Exploration & Production Co. Total and its partners have long been accused of turning a blind eye to serious human rights abuses committed by Burmese security forces guarding the pipeline, including forced labor, land confiscation, forced relocation, rape, torture and murder…Complaining that “Total is a punching bag while other companies invest without criticism is simply untrue,” said EarthRights International project coordinator Matthew Smith…

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Article
25 July 2009

The Critics Can ‘Go To Hell.’ [interview with Total CEO Christophe de Margerie]

Author: Tracy McNicoll, Newsweek

Tracy McNicoll:...You've said you want to change Total's terrible image at home. How?
Christophe de Margerie:...The Erika [a tanker that spilled off the French coast in 1999] was a tremendous shock here...But the thing is, we can't change Erika. Maybe we've made mistakes...but I can't go back to the past. It's already 10 years ago...
Tracy McNicoll: The outcry wasn't simply about issues like Erika. You were called on to influence Burma to free Aung San Suu Kyi. It was about Total's responsibilities...
Christophe de Margerie:...Today, they are trying to tell us you have no right to speak. They can go to hell. If you want to ask somebody, don't ask Total...[A]sk the government of India why they have companies investing in Burma, when we froze investment...Why Total? India is the biggest democracy on earth. And that's what people don't like to hear. Because then it's a little bit too complex. It's better to say Total has to quit Burma. I disagree.

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